An apparition appearing in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki
, in the form of a flaming wheel with a bald monk's face in the center. Sekien writes:
これをみる者魂を失ふ。 「此所勝母の里」 と紙にかきて、家の出入の戸におせば、
On the hub of a wheel there is a great monk's head, and riding on the single wheel it goes around and around.
A person who sees it will lose their soul. If you write "here is the home of a winning mother" on a piece of paper,
and apply it to the door where you come and go from the house, [the
wanyūdō] will not dare approach.
The charm invoking the "home of a winning mother" apparently refers to a story in the Records of the Grand Historian
concerning Confucius' pupil Zēngzǐ, known for his filial piety. Disgusted at having a reputation of "winning for his mother," Zēngzǐ could not set foot in the home of a "winning mother". How exactly this is related to the wanyūdō
The shape of the wanyūdō
itself seems to be based on an image from the Shokoku Hyaku Monogatari 諸国百物語, a ghost story collection published in 1677. Titled "Katawa-guruma
Phenomenon of East Tōin in the Capital'' 京東洞院かたわ車, this drawing depicts a wheel-like being seen on a street in Kyoto.
1. Murakami 2005 p. 358.
2. Inada p. 136